We hear quite often these days that Washington D.C. is broken. It is obvious that federal bureaucrats are not representing the interests of the people. Out of desperation, certain voices out there espouse violent revolution. This is a short-sighted and dangerous approach that must be eschewed.

The revolution we need is a consciousness revolution. The public must be awakened to the founding documents. Americans must be inspired obtain copies of the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and its Bill of Rights, and to read them, study them, understand the history behind them, familiarize themselves with the ratifying speeches along with the correspondence and writings of the Founding era revolutionaries who shed blood so their posterity wouldn’t have to do so.

The Founding Fathers arbitrated documents with wisdom such as the following passage from the Declaration of Independence that makes it clear that our rights are never meant to be tread upon under any circumstances:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it….”

This passage raises an important question: on what lawful grounds do we stand to insist that government must change its ways, under the Constitution?

The writings of James Madison in the Federalist Papers can some light on this topic. In Federalist #45, Madison explained to us the strict limitations of the federal government and the true power of the states. He said, “The powers delegated to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

In Federalist #46, Madison echoed those statements by saying, “The first and most natural attachment of the people will be to the governments of their respective States.”  He went on to offer a blueprint to use state power to check federal power – by a refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union.

Madison made it clear that the focus must be on state governance and that is the first priority of Americans. If we are diligent in local, county and state governance, we will, in turn, ensure that the federal government will do likewise. “We the People” are meant to be the foundation of the Republic. With that great power comes great responsibility. It means we must keep our due diligence on our local, county and State governments by being active and holding our elected officials’ feet to the fire.

Samuel Adams gave us a dire warning of what would happen if we failed to remain diligent;

“No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.”

Our Founding Fathers did not wish to bring about armed conflict, but were left no other choice facing a tyrannical government. They knew it would be no easy task, the price would be high, and it impact affect every person in the colonies for years to come. We have a chance to avoid that type of pain and sacrifice by waging a revolution of the mind. We can also use the power of state and local government to check federal power. Nullification through a refusal to cooperate gives us a tool to stop federal overreach short of armed revolution.

But we can never successfully implement Madison’s plan without American understanding it.

Knowledge is everlasting and it can be disseminated to others with the click of a button in the digital age. Liberty requires constant vigilance, and we have the informational weapons at our disposal to be more vigilant than ever before.

That is why Americans must turn off the TV, get off the couch, refrain from that alcoholic beverage, and become educated in the Founding Principles. It behooves us and our posterity to spring into action.

It may be slightly incontinent, but it’s better than having to explain to your children and your grandchildren why the blessings of liberty were stomped out while Americans sat idly by and watched it happen.

Richard Kramer
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